Your business has been struck by ransomware, and you know you need to act fast. If you don't have a contingency plan in place for dealing with this type of situation, you may struggle with how to respond. If you haven't been struck by ransomware yet, putting together a plan of action now that incorporates these five key do's and don'ts is an excellent way to make sure your business is prepared for the coming challenges.
1. Don't: Pay the Ransom
You've been hit by ransomware, and the first request is that you pay--often a substantial sum--in order to receive access to your files again. While it may be tempting to offer up the payment to get your business back to normal operating capacity as soon as possible, there are several reasons why you don't want to pay the ransom. First and foremost, it's important to realize that the creator of this particular piece of ransomware might have no intention of giving you the key--or might not even have it! Second, keep in mind that, like bullies, hackers who create ransomware are looking for a response. If you refuse to respond, they'll be less likely to create more versions of those nasty viruses in the future.
2. Do: Quarantine Infected Machines
Just like a virus that attacks the human body, ransomware can spread quickly throughout your network if it's allowed to go unchecked. If you end up with ransomware on one of your machines, quarantine it as soon as you realize the problem. This will prevent the infection from spreading through your network. Make sure to keep a close eye on other machines to ensure that it hasn't spread before you noticed it.
3. Do: Roll to Your Backup ASAP
Cloud storage is the ideal solution for many businesses that are faced with ransomware, since many of them include packages that will permit users to "roll back" their systems and access files before they were encrypted. If you don't have this advantage, make sure you utilize data backups as quickly as possible in order to restore system functionality.
4. Don't: Wait Until a Threat Strikes
Ransomware is a serious concern, and it's one that has the potential to quickly infect many businesses. Make sure you have a plan in place to respond quickly and effectively, including:
- Backup systems that will ensure that your business still has access to critical data following a ransomware attack.
- A recovery plan for who is responsible for taking care of what task, enabling your recovery to proceed more smoothly.
- Information about where to find backup machines to help restore your business to functionality while you deal with the ransomware threat.
5. Do: Plug Those Security Holes
You've been hit by ransomware once. The last thing you want is to go through this again! Take the time to plug up the security holes in your business, including:
- Installing software updates as soon as possible. This will ensure that you get the latest patches for viruses and other security holes.
- Limiting the devices allowed on the company network. For example, your IoT devices should be isolated from your primary network, and guest devices should always connect to a separate WiFi.
- Restricting users from accessing personal email and other data from company machines to help reduce the likelihood of a threat.
Dealing with a ransomware attack doesn't have to be catastrophic for your business. By following these simple do's and don'ts, however, you can increase your odds of successfully weathering this particular storm and handling whatever other difficulties come your way. Need more help combating a ransomware threat to your business or preparing your business to handle security threats? Contact us today to learn how we can help.